Education of a Wandering Man
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From his decision to leave school at fifteen to roam the world, to his recollections of life as a hobo on the Southern Pacific Railroad, as a cattle skinner in Texas, as a merchant seaman in Singapore and the West Indies, and as an itinerant bare-knuckled prizefighter across small-town America, here is Louis L'Amour's memoir of his lifelong love affair with learning--from books, from yondering, and from some remarkable men and women--that shaped him as a storyteller and as a man. Like classic L'Amour fiction, Education of a Wandering Man mixes authentic frontier drama--such as the author's desperate efforts to survive a sudden two-day trek across the blazing Mojave desert--with true-life characters like Shanghai waterfront toughs, desert prospectors, and cowboys whom Louis L'Amour met while traveling the globe. At last, in his own words, this is a story of a one-of-a-kind life lived to the fullest . . . a life that inspired the books that will forever enable us to relive our glorious frontier heritage.
And I never saw him again. My assessment work was finished, and so were most of the books and ammunition. I had explored the country nearby and was beginning to feel the urge to move on. True, several of the books I had read while there could be read again with profit, but I was not prepared for that. There were too many books I had not read at all, and too many miles I had not covered. Several times, just for luck, I had panned out some of the rotten quartz that I crushed with a double-jack
had proved themselves able to give him a contest. One of these was Oriental Slim, a particular friend of mine. Another was a marine engineer. Either of these might beat him on occasion, but the occasions were rare. Then came Sleeth, a slim, dark man with a fantastic head for figures. I’ve seen him stand beside the tracks and memorize the numbers on the boxcars as they rolled by, and be able to repeat them in order. They always checked out. Sleeth was ignored at first when he suggested a game
what was happening to the land, and was pleased to get a chance to review Sears’s book for a farm magazine. Ecology had been getting into some of my stories, principally one titled “Merrano of the Dry Country.” It appeared in a pulp magazine and dealt not only with proper usage of the land but with the race question. That story first appeared about forty years ago, or a bit more. The lists of books I read in my earlier years have largely been lost, but my memory for some is clear. It was a
Future in which he outlined a mechanized army which was to be adopted, with minor changes, as the panzer division. Major General J.F.C. Fuller had written Field Service Regulations III in which he laid down the plan for blitzkreig warfare. The French were committed to a war of position and did nothing with De Gaulle’s motorized division; the British had other ideas and ignored Fuller’s concept. The Germans saw the value in all three ideas and used them. (A Frenchman—a correspondent, I
stone, the people Admire or hate their stature, their insolent quietness, The mountains are not softened nor troubled And a few dead men’s thoughts have the same temper. —ROBINSON JEFFERS from “Wise Men in Their Bad Hours” * * * BIBLIOGRAPHY As I expected to reread parts of these books, I wanted their titles available to me. Hence, I kept this listing of books read from 1930 to 1935 and in 1937. (Asterisks represent books reviewed for The Oklahoman.) BOOKS AND PLAYS READ IN